Get Messy with Chemistry
Head outside and get messy with chemistry! Try erupting soda, giant bubbles, and more.
See what happens when you drop Mentos into a bottle of diet soda!
- Mentos and Diet Coke
Soda + Mentos = tons of bubbles. What about a straw? A pipe cleaner?
- Exploring the Diet Coke and Mentos Experiment
This scientist can’t get enough of this reaction. The questions keep coming.
- Mentos and Diet Coke at 14,000 Feet
Climb a mountain. Do some chemistry. Which altitude gives you the most foam?
- Secrets of the Coke and Mentos Fountain
Which soda should you choose for a fantastic fountain?
- Measuring, Mentos, Soda, Gas Laws and Coffee
Blasting off soda is fun, but then what? Take it further.
- Diet Coke and Mentos MiniMyth
Mint or fruit? Mythbusters investigate which flavor makes your eruption explosive.
- Soda–Candy Explosions
What’s really going on when Mentos candies meet soda? Even science researchers want to find out!
- Mentos Geyser Tube: Re-Make
Got some time and feeling handy? Create your own tube to drop Mentos into soda bottles.
- Mentos Geyser Experiment
Stand back! Prepare for a soda eruption in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…
Blast off! Create a rocket using an Alka–Seltzer tablet and a film canister.
- NGSS-ify Alka-Seltzer Rockets
One question, no procedure. See how this teacher uses claim, evidence, and reasoning in the lab.
- Breaking a Guinness World Record with Bubble-Powered Rockets
College students are taking on the challenge. The Alka-Seltzer rocket record to beat? 130 meters!
- Pop Your Top (Film Canister Explosions)
Load up a film canister and let it rip! Then pick one thing to change and try again.
- Alka-Seltzer Rocket Race
The race is on! Which rocket will launch first—small pieces or big?
- Alka–Seltzer Rocket Patterns
Cut and paste like a pro with these ready to print and use patterns for rocket nose cones and fins.
- Pop Rocket Inquiry (PDF)
Hold a mini rocket design and launch competition with this inquiry lesson plan. You probably already have the fuel.
- Alka-Seltzer Rockets
Launch your own mini rocket. But how are they the same as NASA’s massive models?
- Fizzy Bottle Rockets (PDF)
Don’t have a film canister handy for your rocket? Don’t despair! Here’s another option.
Stir up some soapy science with giant bubbles, dry ice crystal ball bubbles, square bubbles, and more.
- Milli's Magnificent Bubble Solution (PDF)
Sugar? Glycerin? Plain dishwashing soap? Explore which bubble solution makes the longest-lasting bubbles.
- Chemical Mystery #17: Bubble Buster!
Solve the soapy mystery. Why do stable bubbles form in one glass, but not the other?
- Record-Breaking Giant Soap Bubble
Making world record bubbles takes some serious science.
- Dry Ice Crystal Ball Bubble
What prediction do you see in this crystal ball? That you’ll love this soap film filled with carbon dioxide gas and water vapor!
A big collection of bubble information, even a “bubbliography.”
- The Science of Soap Bubbles (PDF)
Bubbles, bubbles, everywhere! Figure out why they form spheres, bounce a bubble, and more.
- Bubble Suspension
Start with an empty aquarium. Now give your freshly blown bubbles a rest on an invisible cushion.
- Freezing Bubbles
Take a look at these cool (literally) photos of frozen bubbles. Wait for your own arctic blast to try it yourself.
- Best Bubbles
Come for the candy corn in space video, stay for the related bubble experiment.
Use the classic Elephant’s Toothpaste demonstration in new ways.
- A Tale of 2 Explosions
Chemistry going viral sounds great—but what about the safety of what you see?
- Harry Potter and the Elephant Toothpaste Potion
The demo doesn’t have to end when the eruption is over. Use the foam to spark more discussion!
- Bruno the Elephant's Toothpaste (PDF)
Young students can help your (imaginary) pet elephant get ready for its day. First on the list—brushing its teeth.
- You Can Try Miss America's Science Experiment at Home
Chemistry was front and center on the stage as the 2020 winner shared some science.
- Rainbow Elephant's Toothpaste
Rainbow foam goes to the extreme, but there’s a kid-friendly version you can try at home too.
- Elephant Toothpaste
“Old Foamey” gives an impressive soapy geyser. Check the safety precautions section and tips first!
Mix up a batch (or two, or three) of ooey, gooey oobleck or slime!
- The Science of Slime (PDF)
This cool concoction helps you learn about polymers. Read, then make.
- Glitter Slime (PDF)
What’s life without a little sparkle? Glam up your “gluep.”
- The Chemistry of Slime
The bonding brings it all together. How?
- First Day Chemistry Engineering Activity
Students hit the lab first thing. Whose slime recipe will take top honors?
- Magnetic Slime
Try this slime-making twist—make it magnetic! The secret ingredient: iron oxide powder.
- How to Make Oobleck
The ingredients are ordinary, but how the final result behaves is not. Grab cornstarch and water and mix up a batch.
- Cornstarch Walk on Water
When one pan of oobleck is not enough—whip up enough to fill a pool. Can you run across it?
- Color Changing Oobleck
Make a stop in the produce section of the grocery store, then try this pH indicator oobleck.
- Oobleck's Weird Behavior Is Now Predictable
It’s not just for messy play. Scientists want to get in on the science fun too.
- Make Gak, Slime, and Oobleck
The ingredients of these three are different, but the messy fun is the same. Try their new “frog floam” recipe too.
Not messy enough yet? Here's a few more things to try.
- Soap Boat 2.0
It’s an upgrade to the detergent boat. This one keeps going and going and going…
- Naked Egg
How do you get an egg to shed its shell? What does it look and feel like when it’s gone?
- Bubble Bomb
Mix up these easy-to-find kitchen chemicals and make a freezer bag explode.
- Disappearing Ink
Now you see it, now you don’t. Learn about the chemistry behind disappearing ink and make your own.
- Detergent Powered Boat (PDF)
This small paper boat doesn’t need a motor—just a drop of detergent and surface tension. Make one!
(all sites accessed July 2020)